Missouri doctors seek end run around certificate of need in small projects

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By Jay Vincent,
Senior Vice President – Business Development, The Saint Consulting Group

A recent end run by a physician medical group in Missouri has hospital companies concerned about how that state’s Health Facilities regulations will protect their market through the certificate of need (CON) process moving forward.  Patients First Health Care recently won a ruling by the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee (MHFRC) that allows it to build a 3-bed hospital without the need for a CON.

Currently, the CON process in many states like Missouri works to ensure that there is not an oversupply of hospital beds in a given market.  The goal:  stabilize the availability of health care resources so that hospitals, whether for profit or not for profit, can remain financially healthy.  The result in some ways is less competition.  In almost all ways though, the CON process is used to protect market share.

Hospital operators big and small, for profit and not for profit, use the process to petition against competing hospitals and in many cases succeed in protecting their monopoly on delivering health c are in an area.  However, in Missouri, smaller operators and cost-wise competitors may have found a way to get a foot hold in a market place.

There is a caution here for both emerging competitors and entrenched hospital interests.  The competitive playing field is much larger than the CON process.  In some states that have abandoned CON processes, entrenched interests are now using the local zoning process or special use permits as the path to challenging new market entrants.  In short, if you can’t get your medical district zoning, you can’t operate your hospital. Or, if your competitor can’t get their special use permit for an emergency department then you might have just protected your hospital’s financial well-being.

To learn more about protecting your project or your market share, feel free to reach out to us.

Jay Vincent is senior vice president for business development, health/medical facilities practice leader, The Saint Consulting Group, email vincent@tscg.biz, phone 312.970.5770 Ext: 7502

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